Top Ten Martial Arts films – Part Two

It’s time for part two of our list of top ten Martial Arts films. If you missed part one check it out here.

Note that the age rating for each film is listed with each film and some many not be suitable for viewers of younger ages. Please check the age rating before watching.

Number 5: Ong Bak


Rating 18 + Strong Violence and Language
Director – Prachya Pinkaew
Starring – Tony Jaa and Petchtai Wongkamlao


When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it. Ong Bak starring “Tony Jaa” is an amazing film, its like watching an old “Bruce Lee” film, plenty of action no CGI, wires or tricks of any sort. “Tony Jaa” is a real martial artist showing great martial prowess in the this film, it must have been very tough for the camera crew to keep up with “Jaa”. Muay Thai a style of martial arts never before used in film is shown as beautiful yet brutal.


Number 4: IP Man


Rating – 15 + Martial Violence
Director – Wilson Yip
Starring – Donnie Yen and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi


Ip Man is a semi-biographical film based on the life of “Yip Man”, the first martial arts master to teach the chinese martial arts style of “Wing Chun” again a style not used in modern action film which puts this film in a totally different league. Ip Man Dramatizes the life of Yip Man (1893-1972) the plot is based around 1935 with the invasion of China by Japan. with Yip taking any work for food. General Miura of Japan now in charge, stages martial arts fights between the Chinese and his men: winners get extra rice. “Yip Man” the late mentor of the iconic “Bruce Lee”.


Number 3: House of Flying Daggers


Rating – 15 + Stylized Martial Arts Violence
Director – Yimou Zhang
Starring – Takeshi Kaneshiro and Ziyi Zhang


House of Flying Daggers is a truly beatiful film, with scenes of many chinese landscapes such as “bamboo forests” wonderfully directed by “Yimou Zhang”. The plot is based during the reign of the “Tang dynasty” in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” rises and opposes the government. A police officer called Leo sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the “Flying Daggers”. Leo arrests Mei, only to have Jin breaking her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem.


Number 2: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


Rating – 12 + Stylized Martial Arts Violence
Director – Ang Lee
Starring – Chow-Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang


Known as one of the best martial arts films ever, it is truly a master piece with critics saying “a film every man, woman and child should see” with a big amount of wire use in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon it is beautifully utilized with actors flying over the roof-tops of temples and houses. Starring Chow-Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon contains many fight scenes using the chinese martial style of “Wushu and “Wu Dang Chuan” a must see martial arts film!.


Number 1: Hero


Rating – 13 + Martial Arts Violence
Director – Yimou Zhang
Starring – Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Ziyi Zhang


Hero is the most expensive chinese film to date, and not one Yuan was wasted! Hero has to be the most graceful and beatiful martial arts picture ever to be released starring many talented martial artists such as “Donnie Yen, “Jet Li”, “Ziyi Zhang” and “Maggie Cheung” I cannot stress enough how much I want you to see this film it has to be up there with some of the “cinematography greats!” the costumes, actors, settings everything is just perfect even before the film was finished the production crew and actors knew “Hero” would make martial arts picture history!


That’s the list people. What did you think? Do you agree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below.


Words: Conor Holden
All images belong to their rightful owners and used under fair use

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